The zoo has been high up on the bucket list for awhile and is one of the big sights in Miami that I hadn’t been too. My friend Michael loves animals so when he got one of his rare day off I knew the zoo had to be on the agenda.
The Miami Zoo is both large and extensive and that makes it a really enjoyable zoo experience. The zoo has over 2,000 species spread out over 300 acres of about 100 exhibits (over 700 acres total in the whole zoo). What’s great is that the zoo is one giant loop, which I appreciate since I’m the type that likes to at least have the option to see everything without a lot of backtracking or navigating. The total loop is about 3 miles, which with all the exhibits is a lot but there are a lot of places to stop and sit down, plus get food or drinks. You can also rent bicycle buggies and take the zoo’s monorail around.
The zoo is the only tropical zoo in the continental United States and it shows with all the tropical foliage all throughout and a lot of cool exhibits open to the air like the Amazon tropical rain forest. I liked the landscaping and the feeling of being in at a tropical zoo, plus a lot of different large scale exhibits like the Amazon rainforest and Wings of Asia exhibit. Others areas of the park include a Children’s Zoo, Asian River Life exhibit, Asian exhibits, African exhibits, and Australian exhibits. Not only were there tons of different exhibits but I feel like I saw a lot of animals I haven’t before or even discovered a few new animals. I also loved all the throwback stuff they had that reminded me of childhood- Dippin Dots, the machines that pop out wax/plastic figurines, and the machines you shoot a coin around the big funnel (all they needed were zoo fries and the zoo keys from the Oregon Zoo!). There were also several “experience” exhibits, besides the petting zoo, where you could get pretty close and feed the animals like the giraffes, rhinos, and parrots.
My favorite exhibit was definitely the Amazon tropical rainforest. It was cool it was open to the outside (thanks to Miami’s climate) so it partially felt you were in the rainforest. The myst was an added bonus, as well as the animals- jaguar, giant river otter, and the aviary. I also like the Wings of Asia exhibit, which literally had birds walking in front of you on the path. Giraffes were also my favorite and I liked that there were zebras and other animals with the giraffes, felt more savanna-like. Favorite animals also go to the koala (although the only was sleeping), African elephants, and otters.
I’ll post my favorite pics below, which means my favorite animals and/or good pictures of active animals. If you live in Miami you definitely have to visit the zoo and I’d encourage it as a stop for people visiting Miami. This was one that felt good to cross off the list.
Zoo Miami- 12400 SW 152nd St Miami, FL